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City mayor bans Nike products from booster clubs, according to leaked memo

Ashley May 
A Nike Ad featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on diplay September 8, 2018 in New York City.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The same day Colin Kaepernick shared his full-length Nike ad, a Louisiana mayor reportedly banned Nike products from booster clubs.

Kenner, La., Mayor Ben Zahn III ordered playground booster clubs to stop wearing and buying any Nike products in a leaked memorandum dated Sept. 5.

"Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any City of Kenner Recreation Facility," the memorandum appearing signed by Zahn states.

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The widely shared memo says that all apparel, shoes, equipment and any athletic purchase must be approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation.

Zahn plans to issue a public statement on the memo sometime Monday, Kenner spokesman Bob Ross told USA TODAY. Chad Pitfield, the city's director of Parks and Recreation Department, referred questions to Ross.

Gregory Carroll, a Kenner councilman, commented on the memorandum that he said was authored by the mayor. Carroll said on Sunday he wasn't aware of the decision to ban Nike products before the message was sent and said "it is in direct contradiction of what I stand for and what the City of Kenner should stand for."

Carroll said he plans to meet with the mayor and other council members to "rescind" the ban.

While Zahn refused to comment Monday on the memo, a video of him last week at a festival in Kenner showed him criticize those who choose to not stand for the national anthem.

"I'm going to ask y'all to stand for what's about to happen. ... Because this is not the NFL football players, right?" he said before the anthem was sung, eliciting cheers from the crowd. "This is the city of Kenner. In the city of Kenner we all stand. We're going to be proud of that."

Former NFL quarterback Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the national anthem to protest against social inequality and police brutality. He started a movement that triggered hundreds of NFL players to kneel at football games. Last year, he filed a collusion grievance against NFL league owners.

Kaepernick's decision to kneel and his new presence in Nike's ad has drawn criticism from many, including President Trump. But, it's also drawn praise. Nike sales reflect that, as online purchases shot up 31 percent after the ad released.

Nike has invested a lot of resources to promote Kaepernick's ad campaign, which was also featured during Thursday night's first NFL game of the 2018 season between the Eagles and Falcons.

Kaepernick is now a free agent who hasn't been signed to a team since the 2016 football season.

Take a look at the memorandum here. 

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Nike regains share losses sparked by controversial Kaepernick campaign

Key Points
  • The campaign, revealed last Tuesday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Nike's slogan "Just Do it,'' sparked immediate strong responses both for and against.
  • Kaepernick has been a polarizing figure in the sports universe ever since he decided not to stand for the national anthem during a 2016 NFL preseason football game to protest racial injustice.